October 2019

Early Childhood Initiatives Update

The Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grant was renewed for an additional 5 years ($17M).  The program has expanded to 8 locations across the city. EHS-CCP provides comprehensive child development services to 210 at risk infants and toddlers and their families.

HDC also has a new contract with the Developmental Disabilities Council to provide training for EarlySteps providers (Louisiana’s Part C-early intervention program) and develop a community of practice for 70 early interventionists in Lafayette and Shreveport.

LASARD Project Approved as Vendor for Louisiana Department of Education

The Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities (LASARD) Project has been selected for inclusion in the Louisiana Department of Education’s Partnership for Success Guide as an approved vendor for the 2020-2021 school year.  The Partnership for Success Guide provides school systems with a list of partners that can provide professional development to build the capacity of educators to deliver specialized supports often required to support the unique needs of students with disabilities.  Only ten vendors from across the US are included in this guide. LASARD facilitators are in the process now of meeting with districts and schools across the state to promote their partnership services and offer support as needed. 

Our 3rd Annual Braille Poetry Contest is open!

Originally by the National Braille Press, https://www.nbp.org

The theme for this year’s contest is freedom.  Freedom to be you, freedom in the world, fighting for freedom, let your creativity run free (pun intended)!  We’ll be accepting submissions from October 11, 2019 to February 07, 2020.  Winners will be announced on World Poetry Day: March 21, 2020. Click here for details.

Writers of all ages are encouraged to enter their original braille poetry for a chance to win a grand prize worth $100 and have your poem published on the Inside NBP Blog.

Age Groups:

  • K-2nd grade
  • 3rd grade-5th grade
  • 6th grade-8th grade
  • 9th grade-12th grade
  • Adults

“Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers.” —Yevgeny Yevtushenko

New Webinar: Supporting Employment for Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities: How ABLE Accounts and SSA Work Incentives Can Help!

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a month devoted to the importance of an inclusive workforce that values the skills and talents of people with disabilities. ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts can contribute to disability workforce inclusion by supporting the education and employment goals of qualified individuals with disabilities.

WHEN: October 24, 2019, 1:00 PM

WHERE: Click here: Module Registration for Supporting Employment for Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities: How ABLE Accounts and SSA Work Incentives Can Help! (opens in new tab)

Click here for more information about Supporting Employment for Transition-age Youth with Disabilities: How ABLE Accounts and SSA Work Incentives Can Help! (opens in new tab)

Your Voice Matters at the Urban League

On Monday, October 21, the Urban League of Louisiana is meeting at its headquarters to participate in a stakeholder focus group on SEAD: Social/Emotional/Academic Development. The Urban League wants to know your opinions on the latest SEAD recommendations.

WHEN: Monday, October 21, 2019, 3:00-5:00 PM

Urban League of Louisiana Headquarters
4640 S Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

Your Voice Matters! Official Flyer

Student from HDC’s PAY Check Program Highlighted by APSE

APSE Facebook Post of Michael from Louisiana

Michael, a student from HDC’s PAY Check program, was featured in a Facebook post on the Association for Persons Supporting Employment First (APSE) page here. As part of his full-time employment with State Machinery Equipment Sales & Rentals, Michael travels independently to different construction sites to test out the machinery. “I’m still in shock that my supervisor allows me to work without supervision. It’s the first time I’ve felt like an adult!” APSE is featuring success stories from around the nation of competitive integrated employment as part of October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

APSE's Facebook post of Michael from Louisiana for NDEAM
APSE’s Facebook post of Michael from Louisiana

Free Screening of No Small Matter

No Small Matter is the first feature documentary to explore the most overlooked, underestimated, and powerful force for good in American today: early childhood education. Through poignant stories and surprising humor, No Small Matter lays out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of the first five years. The film reveals how failure to act on that evidence has resulted inan everyday crisis for American families, and a slow-motion catastrophe for the country. A moderated panel discussion with early childhood education and business leaders will follow the screening including HDC’s Maria Blanco.

Tuesday, October 24

Delgado Community College City Park Campus

Student Life and Success Center- 2nd Floor

Lac Maraupes Room


Light refreshments provided

Tickets at Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/TrainingGroundsNoSmallMatterMovie

Grant for Interprofessional Preparation for Related Services Personnel Awarded to HDC

Dr. Michael Norman of HDC has just been awarded a $1M grant for providing Interprofessional Preparation for Related Services Personnel over a five-year period. The goal of the program is to augment the training of graduate students in audiology, speech-language pathology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy using interprofessional collaborative practices in educational settings. Using shared coursework, group assignments, and coordinated field experiences, four cohorts of ten each (40 total) graduate students will become prepared to assume primary and leadership roles in the identification, evaluation, and management of students with disabilities requiring high-intensity intervention and supports. Coursework curriculum, seminars, and consultation experiences will be vetted, supervised, and evaluated by LSU HSC discipline-specific faculty, including Kelly Alig, Ph.D., Head, LSU HSC Department of Occupational Therapy; Meher Banajee, Ph.D., Program Director, LSUHSC Department of Communication Disorders; Jane Eason, Ph.D., Head, LSU HSC Department of Physical Therapy; and Annette Hurley-Larmeu, Ph.D., Head, LSU HSC Department of Audiology.

Kelly Alig, Michael Norman, Rose Angelocci, and Jane Eason
Kelly Alig, Michael Norman, Rose Angelocci, and Jane Eason

Autism CARES Signed into Law

On September 30, 2019, Autism CARES was signed into law.

AUCD applauds the signing of the Autism Cares Act of 2019 into law by President Trump. This bipartisan law will expand research and coordination, increase public awareness and surveillance, and expand interdisciplinary health professional training to identify and support individuals with autism and their families.


What to know about the new law:

  • Authorizes programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through Fiscal Year 2024, and reauthorizes and expands the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC);
  • Adds new members of IACC from the Departments of Labor, Justice, Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development;
  • Increases from two to three IACC members who are self-advocates, parents or legal guardians and represent advocacy/service organizations;
  • Directs the Health and Human Services Secretary to prioritize grants to “rural and underserved areas;”
  • Requires a comprehensive report to Congress on the demographic factors associated with the health and well-being of individuals with ASD, recommendations on establishing best practices to ensure interdisciplinary coordination, improvements for health outcomes, community-based behavioral support and interventions, nutrition and recreational and social activities, and personal safety.

Read the official press release here. Note that if you are viewing this from the mailing list, the link will have been replaced. If the link does not work, then copy and paste the following URL in your address bar: